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Yvonne Strahovski > Photoshoot > Bustle

Yvonne Strahovski has an impossible job. She’s promoting a television series that no one wants to watch. Not because it isn’t good, but because it’s almost too good, too real. The Handmaid’s Tale shouldn’t feel like our 2017 society, yet the fictional, dystopian, totalitarian society born out of a 1985 Margaret Atwood novel feels all too prescient, with its focus on subjugating women, punishing gay people, and taking away human freedoms in the name of “protecting” citizens. It’s frankly hard to watch stories of a terrifying society that feels like it’s shades away from our own, but, as much as the series may seem to be echoing common fears, The Handmaid’s Tale is doing something productive with Strahovski’s character, Serena Joy, by dodging a harmful stereotype — namely that of the villainous “woman scorned.”

In the series, set in the fictional republic of Gilead, the actor plays Serena Joy, a wife who regularly watches her husband force himself on their handmaid, Elisabeth Moss’ Offred, in the name of procreation. Serena is a character who could be seen as the villain in the series’ very handmaid-centric narrative, and while the series initially begins to play out shades of the expected “other woman” narrative between the wife who’s desperate for a baby and the handmaid who holds the power to actually deliver that, it’s quickly made clear that neither woman actually wants to be here. They don’t have any power in this extreme patriarchy, and so the typical wife-versus-other-woman storyline must everything but simple.

“[The series] raises a lot of issues because this ‘other woman’ is basically sexually enslaved to the ‘regular woman’ … and her husband,” Strahovski says, her brow furrowed as she explains the complicated nature between the characters during a visit to the Bustle office in mid-April.

“Serena Joy, on paper, is the one with the power, but that’s not the case,” Strahovski says.

Despite her lack of actual agency as a woman in the patriarchal republic of Gilead, Serena is still in danger of being painted as a villain, especially with a heroic character like Offred for viewers to look to. But Strahovski refuses to let it be that simple.

“There’s a whole slew of bad words you could use to describe Serena, but I felt like it was my job to try to make sense of her, to try to figure out what made her heart hurt and what made her heart happy and why she turned out the way she turned out,” says the actor. Serena is complex, and “a woman who created the cage she now lives in.”

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Auteur : Jenny 28.04.2017 (0) Commentaire

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